Author(s): Hiram Bingham
First published in the 1950s, this is a classic account of the discovery in 1911 of the lost city of Machu Picchu, now beautifully illustrated with contemporary modern photographs.
In 1911 Hiram Bingham, a pre-historian with a love of exotic destinations, set out to Peru in search of the legendary city of Vilcabamba, capital city of the last Inca ruler, Manco Inca. With a combination of doggedness and good fortune he stumbled on the perfectly preserved ruins of Machu Picchu, perched on a cloud-capped ledge 2000 feet above the torrent of the Urumbamba River.
The buildings were of white granite, exquisitely carved blocks each higher than a man. Bingham had not discovered Vilcabamba, but he had nevertheless made an astonishing discovery.
'A rich, lively book...it is the classic adventure' Irish Times
'Bingham catalogues his finds with admirable concision, and indulges his wide interests, revealing little-known facts about the Incas...He captures the majesty of the architecture in its dramatic and wild surroundings' Literary Review
'This is the stuff of dreams, a story as romantic as any in the annals of exploration' Sunday Times
Hiram Bingham was born in Hawaii in 1875 and educated at Yale. His early expeditions to South America and his discovery of Machu Picchu were just the start of a long and colourful career: he went on to command air force troops in France during the First World War and to become a Senator. He died in 1956. Hugh Thomson, the editor of this edition, is an explorer, travel writer and documentary film maker living in Bristol. Hugh Thomson's previous books include The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland and Nanda Devi, a journey to a usually inaccessible part of the Himalayas. He has led many research expeditions to Peru. He is also a film-maker and has won many awards for his documentaries, which include Indian Journeys with William Dalrymple, and Dancing in the Street: A Rock and Roll History. He lives in Oxfordshire. More details can be seen at www.thewhiterock.co.uk